Coconut Shortbread Cookies (grain-free)

There are a number of diets that don’t advocate for grains these days. It’s pretty easy to not eat grains when you can eat nuts and seeds abundantly. Because of the health complications I’ve been sorting through the last few months, I’ve been limited to just coconut flour. My beloved almond, chestnut, and arrowroot flours have been stowed away until I’m healed. I’m learning to get creative with coconut flour, but it’s not an easy one to work with. Notably, it gets chalky and doesn’t hold moisture well. To combat the inherent texture of coconut flour, these cookies are loaded with nourishing coconut oil and coconut butter. And while unsweetened, these cookies super satiating because of their fat content. So whether you’re doing grain-free, paleo, keto, or something else free of sugar and starches, these cookies are perfect.

On a nutrition note, I get asked at least twice a week about my thoughts on ketogenic and grain-free diets. Let’s start with keto because of how wildly popular it is right now. This is just a brief synopsis, I’ll save more in-depth information for a later post. Keto became popular in the western world likely because of how effective it is for weight loss. High fat, moderate protein, low carb. When we're in a state of ketosis, we use ketones (acids made from fat) for energy instead of glucose. This diet can be used therapeutically for cancer, cognitive disorders, metabolic syndromes, or simply to increase energy in some.

For cancer cells that thrive on glucose, being in a state of ketosis starves cells off by using fat for energy instead. Glucose and inflammation likewise contribute to cognitive disorders and metabolic syndromes (aka, diabetes). When you eat low carb, you needs to replace your energy source with fat. We don't really burn protein for energy, or rather we shouldn't because that means our tissues will begin wasting away. We need protein in our diets for keeping up healthy amino acid synthesis, but it won't energetically feed your cells well. 

So, my thoughts on the ketogenic diet are: it's great when used for the right reason if it works for your body. The candida diet that I'm currently on has similar principles to a ketogenic diet because of its carb limitation. Sugars that make up carbohydrates feed opportunistic yeast and bacteria that I'm trying to kill off. As for being grain-free, that has similar perks when you eat a balanced diet. Many a person go grain-free and eat waaaaay too many nuts and seeds, so much so that their body develops an allergy to them. Like with anything and everything, moderation is key.


  • 1/2 cup coconut flour

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

  • 1/4 cup coconut butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder*

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • pinch of sea salt

*or substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract if diet allows


In a food processor or stand mixer, combine all ingredients until a crumbly dough forms. Press into a ball with your hands and flatten into a disc on wax paper. Wrap the disc and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the disc of dough to 1/3" in thickness between two sheets of wax paper. Cut circles using a cookie stamp or a sharp rim on a glass, use a spatula to transfer cookies onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 10 - 13 minutes until edges are golden brown.